off with no exclusions! we make style affordable, you make it yours! jcpenney. tonight on "nightline," celebrity moms, inc. they're stars and parents. but not only that, moguls, too. we took at how some hollywood moms have turned babies and fame into a business model. exotic pet e.r. a hospitalized hedge hog, a bedridden bird. a sick snake and a laid up lizard. we go inside the exotic pet practice where vets help rare animals feel like themselves again. anan debt roulette. your mortgage, your student loan, maybe even your job. the high stakes debt dealing in washington could cost you. and is it already too late?
>> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, sincynthia mcfadde and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," july 27th, 2011. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. celebrities and their children. used to be that having a kid could be a big detour in an entertainment career, but now, for some celebrity moms, it looks like exactly the opposite. their kids become part of their entertainment identities, even their brands. and ultimately help to create new success. this may look like child exploitation to some eyes, but tonight, abc's juju chang puts the question directly to the moms themselves for our series, "celebrity secrets." >> reporter: mommywood. it suspect just a lifetile. it's an industry. it seems for so many celebrity mothers, almost from the moment they give birth, the marketing begins. from j.lo's twins to the
brangelina babies, magazines want the first shots, reportedly paying millions of dollars for first access. though brad and ang did give the money to charity. tori spelling posed for "people" with her son, and did not get paid. >> on >> even though they have a lot of help, they are still the ones who get up with the crying baby at night, and they're still the mom. and we respect that in this society. >> reporter: spelling's a case in point. the "beverly hills 90210" had burnededhrough her mom and was deeply in debt. so, she reinvented hes as a reality tv star. but spelling iss more than justa reality tv starlet. she's a momtreprenur. >> i iee myself as just a mom
wanting to create and do and create businesses and keep working for my family. >> reporter: at her store, she semis what she says are her favorite things. >> products that we actually use, that we love. >> reporter: and some of her kids favorites. >> best blanket. my kids use it. this is a homemade organic play-doh kid. >> reporter: and she has a line of children's clothing called little maven. her kids, liam and stella, appeared in one of the label's first fashion shows. >> we don't travel without my kids. they are always there. >> reporter: what is the tori spelling brand mean? define the brand. >> well, what happened was, i mean, the brandrganically grew and i think that's when brands actutuly grow is when they're organic and real. and i think people an consumers, they can smell something fake from a mile away and it doesn't feel right. they don't want to buy it. and i started to notice if i did things i loved, things i wanted to create, based around my
family, my life, the lives we've created together, that things started to flourish. and thth's when kind of the brand just started to grow. so, it was basically just, here i am and i'm not an expert in any area, but here's my story, my experience and shared it with people. >> reporter: spelling represents part of a growing amount of celebrity moms who are incorp rates their kids into their empires. singer and designer gwen stefani announced she's teaming up with target to release a children's line. jennifer lopez posed with her kids in this ad for gucci's children collection. madonna launched a clothing and accessories line with her daughter and calls it, what else? ♪ i am a material girl >> reporter: material girl. and celebrities from jamie lee curtis to julie andrews have
written children's books. celebrity stylist and new mom rachel zeo is nearly as famous as the people she dresses. thanks to her hit reality show, "the rachel zoe" project. >> skyler is only 3 1/2 months and i take him everywhere. >> reporter: she's about to launch a full line of clothing, shoes and bags that will appear this fall in high end stores. >> this is your perfect party dress. >> reporter: and rachel has affordable luxury on qvc. what's the price point on this? >> this is $79. >> reporter: get out. do you see your eye drawn to children's fashion, sometiming children, is that -- >> yes, yes. >> reporter: what are you seeing? >> i'm like, that's not going to happen, and it's totalal happening. ready for this? gucci bomber jacket. let me tell you. there is going to be a lot of boys clothes in my life. >> reporter: what's missing in boy's fashion? >> there isn't enough.
>> reporter: and while her clothing line stands to make a huge profit, these ventures are often about something more. >> the moms are so proud of that's a lot of what's at heart here. every mom in the world thinks their kid is the most beautiful and the most talented and the smartest. and a celebrity mom feels the same way. there's a whole generation of working moms who are saying, if this is part of who i am this is my life and i want to live it this way and i don't want to be ashamed. >> reporter: and who would argue with that? for "nightline," i'm juju chang in mommywood. >> kids part of the career. our thanks to juju chapg fng fo that. just ahead, where to take your hedge hog if the little guy's got a tooth ache. well, we check out a hospital for exotic pets of every stripe.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> doctors. they've got only one species to worry about. but there's no telling what a veverinarian might encounter, especially if they work at the animal house hospital we're going to explore right now. it's a place for exotic pets and it turns out, some of their health woes are almost as exotic as their perches in the animal kingdom. here's abc's john berman. >> all right, ready? >> reporter: there's nothing quite like seeing a hairless rat get neutered. >> here it comes. >> reporter: whoa! blood test for a ferret? different. and the lizard heart monitor? well, unusual. no, you wouldn't call this your normal veterinarian's office.
what you would call it? exotic. >> what a good girl! >> reporter: this is the center for avian an exotic medicine in new york city. no docks are cats here. just more than 100 other creatures of every possible shape, size and symptom. >> someone's got to do it. and we like doing it. >> reporter: lorilei tibbets is a veterinarian technician. >> thanksgiving dinner is like a joke. you did what to a who? clie clien clients, too. we'll be like, you have to do an enema on a snake -- and they'll be like, what? >> reporter: here, she's prepping sancho for surgery. and here, she's helping hannah, a hedgehog with a lump in her jaw, some anesthesia to make her less prickly.
>> this is a face mask that would fit a large dog. but we're using it as a chamber. >> reporter: improvisatatn, huge. veterinary school doesn't exactly focus on many of these guys. >> this really is made for rabbits. >> if you can believe it, they don't make a hedgehog oral restraining device. >> isn't he the cutest thing ever? >> reporter: and there's a good deal of common sense, like dealing with a bound up baby bearded dragon. how do you treat him for constipation? >> that's a really good question. we focus on hydrating. this guy actually pooped on his own last night. >> reporter: way to go. these people clearly love animals. take bartles. >> bartles has some really special hidden talents. if you drop a beat for him, he really goes for it. >> reporter: what exactly do you mean by that? >> well -- you know, you give him a little something and he starts grooving -- >> reporter: go bartles! go bartles.
get crazy. >> he'll do that all day if we give him the opportunity. >> reporter: so, suffice to say, there is some fun in this job. >> it's the funnest job in the world. 50% of the time. >> reporter: the other 50%? a combination of tragedy and frustration. first, the tragedy. a closer look in hannah the hedgehog's mouth reveals some bad news. >> like a big bloody hole and there should be teeth there and there aren't. >> that is really bad. >> reporter: dr. wilson fears the worst. >> i'm worried that it could be cancer. >> reporter: cancer. it's a hard message to give to hannah's owner. >> she might become more lethargic, less active. if it is cancer, there will come a time, you know, when she is going to kind of start to shut down. >> it was really sad to look at the x-rays and see her poor little jaw. i feel like i've had a little
friend. i wish she would live forever but that's not the life span of hedgehogs. >> reporter: but sometimes these doctors make things go right in stunning ways. for sancho, it'sime to get those woodchips out. >> there's a lot of stuff in there. it's sharp and it's praguemefra. >> just look at that bowl. >> breakfast. >> reporter: but why was he eating those woodchips in the first place? >> all right. hey, mister. >> reporter: lorilei says it's all too common when people keep exotic pets. >> when you take an animal that is genetically programmed to be basking in the sun in 100 degrees and eating bugs and then you put it in a cage with no light, no heat and you're feeding it cat food, what do you think is going to happen? they suffer. it makes me really sad. >> reporter: so much of what these vets do is teach owners
how to take care of their exotic pets. and when, for whatever reason, they just can't, well, that leaves only one option. you keep a lot of the animals people bring in here. >> we try not to. >> reporter: is that good business? >> financially? no. if it were all about the bottom line, i think it would be so unrewarding, no one would want to stay. >> reporter: so you guys are just big softies? >> we're suckers, yeah. there, i said it. >> reporter: make no mistake, this isn't always cheap. for sancho, the surgery cost $2,000. >> there was never any doubt that we wouldn't pay for his operation. we love him, part of the family. >> reporter: no, you can't put a value on family. or a price tag on caring. yes, these animals might be exotic, but there is nothing exotic about love. i'm john berman for "nightline" in new york.
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well, if you're like most americans, the debt ceiling debate going on in washington right now is enough to make steam pour out of your ears. unfortunately, it can also do things like increase your mortgage payment, diminish what a dollar will buy. as the countdown continues, just five days to go now until that august 2nd deadline, we take a look now a awhat this washington fight means for you, righthtow. doesn't it just tick you off?
>> we are about to destroy the reputation and solvency of the united states of america. >> reporter: it's maddening. it's confusing. it's dysfunctional. >> it's unfair. it's bizarro. >> reporter: and it's really, , really important. >> time's running out. we need to come together now. >> reporter: but what if they don't? what will happen to you? totonswer that, let's begin here. >> today's hearing is about the rating agencies. >> reporter: an ordinary congressional hearing this morning chaired by texas republican congressman randy neugebauer. here's what's important about it. those guys. those guys, right now, at this moment, may be the most powerful guys in the world. because they run the credit rating agencies, standard & poor's, moody's and other firms that make billions just by rating just how risky it is to lend money to businesses or to
countries. >> am i right to worry that this could be real bad if our debt was downgraded? >> reporter: that's what everyone is worried about. these guys and their firms downgrading u.s. bonds, declaring to the chinese and the arabs and investors all over the world that our country may be a little risky to loan money to right now. so, what does it mean to you? >> it's important because for the average consumer on main street whehethe government's credit gets downgraded and uncle sam has to pay more to make good on its debt and its loans, consumers will also have to pay the price. >> reporter: farnoosh tornabi is a personal finance expert in new york city. and she's got a simple message. >> uncle sam will not bring me down. >> reporter: she says that amid all the bickering and dysfunction in washington, it's crucial to stay focused financially. >> you can't control what happens in d.c. you can't control the law. but you can control, to some extent, your own personal finances. and i think that's where the message is key, that you have to really be in the driver's seat.
>> reporter: so the first thing to understand is that if the u.s. credit rating is downgraded, interest rates will rise across the board. our credit cards, car loans, adjustable rate mortgages will all be paying more. >> all these rates are tied together. >> pretty much, yeah. so basically, if the government has to pay more on its debt, we have to pay more on our debt. >> reporter: and farnoosh has got some advice if that happens. >> if you have an adjustable rate mortgage, maybe right now between now and august 2nd you want to shop around for a fixed rate because essentially a fixix rate is security. but if you're for example a student right now shopping for a student loan, i would opt for the federal loans first. they have lower interest rates. they're fixed. >> reporter: most important, she says, pay down your credit card debt. and save more. in the end, we are all at the mercy of political events here, and of what those guys at the credit rating agencies do. it just doesn't seem fair that what's happening in washington, which is primarily a political fight, a partisan political
fight, could have such a significant impact on the lives of so many people who don't care about that. >> talk about caring. you're absolutely right. i always say, no one cares more about your finances, your savings or your well-being, financially speaking, than you. >> reporter: not the democrats, not the republicans. >> not the democrats, the republicans, or the banks, not even your parents, not even your friends, not even your employers. you have to be the biggest advocate for your finances in any economy, no matter what the debate is in washington, no matter what's happening potentially in the grand scheme of things. you have the control to steer this ship. >> masters of our own fate. that's our report for tonight. thanks for watching abc news. we hope you tune in for "good morning america." they'll report on britain's s n on cosmetics ads featuring models that are judged to be too photographically enhanced and promoting an unhealthy i